After leaving during his final at-bat in Thursday afternoon’s loss in Toronto because of back discomfort, designated hitter David Ortiz was penciled into the Red Sox’ lineup for Friday night’s series opener against the Rays in Tampa. He will bat third.
Ortiz was considered day-to-day, but it turns out he won’t miss any time, or a chance to face Rays ace David Price. In a testy May 30 game at Fenway Park, Price hit a pair of batters, including Ortiz, and four uniformed Red Sox were ejected.
After that game, Ortiz and Price traded barbs through the media, though Ortiz wasn’t in a retaliatory mood after Thursday’s game, saying, “I don’t think anything will happen.”
Ortiz checked his swing in the ninth inning on Thursday, stepped out of the batter’s box, and reached for his lower back. He left the game, and Jonny Gomes finished the at-bat — as well as the 8-0 loss — by flying to left.
“I made like a rough move on that pitch, like tried to go and stop,” Ortiz said after the game. Ortiz also said he felt “a little pop” in his back in his final at-bat on Wednesday night.
Ortiz left Rogers Centre on Thursday with a pain-relieving patch on his back, as the Red Sox headed to Tampa. Ortiz is coming off a four-homer, eight-RBI series with the Blue Jays.